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Jamaica - Where To Go...


   Most of Jamaica's tourist business is concentrated in the resorts of Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Negril, which together attract hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. Montego Bay is a busy, commercial city with hotels lined up along its lively main strip, a stone's throw from a couple of Jamaica's most famous beaches. There's a great entertainment scene, especially during the annual August Reggae Sumfest festival.
   To the west is Negril, its low-rise hotels slung along seven miles of fantastic white sand and two miles of dramatic cliffs. It's younger, more laid-back, and with a longstanding reputation for hedonism that still carries a hint of the truth. East of MoBay, and the least individualistic of the big three, Ocho Rios embodies high-impact tourism - purpose-built in the 1960s to provide the ultimate package of sun, sand and sea. It's not an overly attractive place, and the beaches don't compare favourably with Negril and MoBay, but its tourist infrastructure is undeniably strong - the place is packed with shops, restaurants, bars and watersports - and you're right by some of Jamaica's leading attractions, including the famous Dunn's River waterfall.

   Jamaica's quieter east and south coasts offer a far less packaged - perhaps more rewarding - experience, and there are plenty of real gems worth hunting out. In the island's east , lush, sleepy Port Antonio and its increasingly popular neighbour, Long Bay , provide gateways to some of Jamaica's greatest natural attractions, like the cascading waterfall at Reach. The south coast offers different pleasures, from gentle beach action at easy-going Treasure Beach - the perfect base from which to explore area delights such as the YS waterfalls - to boat safaris in search of local wildlife on the Black River .

   Last, but in no way least, Kingston is the true heart of Jamaica, a thrilling place, pulsating with energy and spirit, that is home to more than a third of the island's 2.5 million people. This is not just the nation's political capital but the focus of its art, theatre and music scenes, with top-class
hotels, restaurants and shopping, a clubbing scene that is second to none and legendary fried fish on offer at the fabulous Hellshire beach. A stunning backdrop to the city, the cool, coffee-smothered Blue Mountains offer plenty of hiking possibilities, while the nearby fishing village of Port Royal , once a pirate refuge, provides historic diversion.

• Jamaica
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• Explore Jamaica

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